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The Importance of Proper Drainage

importance of drainage

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The Importance of Proper Drainage

Proper drainage plays a vital role in the functionality and longevity of a parking lot’s design and maintenance. Proper drainage is crucial for preventing expensive damages and improving the safety and appearance of a parking area. In this blog, we’ll delve into the various reasons why proper drainage is essential for parking lots.

Why is Proper Drainage so Important?

Drainage and asphalt pavements go hand and hand. Asphalt pavements are attractive and economical. They can have extremely long lives if they are properly maintained.

Despite their strength, structures are still vulnerable to natural forces. Inadequate drainage in a parking lot significantly reduces their lifespan. Here are some examples of why proper drainage is important:

Prevents Water Accumulation

Water can cause serious damage to asphalt pavement, despite its waterproofing abilities. Therefore, proper drainage is critical for ensuring a longer life for the pavement with fewer costly repairs. One of the primary purposes of proper drainage is to prevent water accumulation.

Without proper drainage systems, rainwater and melting snow can collect on parking lots, leading to puddles and even flooding. It’s important to implement drainage systems to avoid these issues. Puddles of water can cause issues for people walking or driving and also lead to more harm to the road surface.

Minimizes Structural Damage

Constant exposure to standing water can significantly deteriorate the structural integrity of the parking lot. During cold weather, water solidifies and expands.

It becomes smaller when the temperature rises once more. The phenomenon of freeze-thaw occurs repeatedly, resulting in the formation of cracks and holes in the ground.

Over time, these cracks can spread and deepen, leading to more extensive and costly repairs. It is important to have an effective drainage system to prevent water from causing harm to buildings. Reducing the amount of surface water quickly can lower the risk of structural damage.

Enhances Safety

A parking lot with inadequate drainage can quickly become a safety hazard. Puddles and flooding can obscure potholes, debris, and other obstacles, creating a tripping and driving hazard for pedestrians and vehicles alike.

In freezing conditions, standing water can also freeze, leading to slippery surfaces and an increased likelihood of accidents. It’s important to keep the drainage in good condition. This ensures the safety of people using the parking lot and reduces your responsibility in case of any accidents.

Preserves Aesthetics

The appearance of your parking lot plays a significant role in forming a positive impression on visitors and customers. Standing water and poorly drained areas can detract from the overall aesthetics of the property. Over time, this can damage your reputation and deter potential customers or tenants. Proper drainage helps maintain a clean and tidy appearance, enhancing the overall appeal of your property.

Extends Lifespan

Investing in proper drainage is a smart financial decision in the long run. By preventing water-related damage, you extend the lifespan of your parking lot’s pavement. Avoiding cracks, erosion, and deterioration means that you’ll need fewer repairs and resurfacing efforts, saving you both time and money.

importance of drainage

What Happens to an Asphalt Pavement With Improper Surface Drainage?

Wet pavements are more dangerous than dry ones. When water is standing on the pavement, it can seep beneath the surface, making it even more hazardous. Water can leak through cracks, back up along the edges of the pavement, or penetrate around clogged drains or grates.

Water flowing downward can harm the pavement’s structure. Further damage is caused to the pavement when water is trapped and freezes. However, freezing temperatures can also inflict pavement damage even if the water remains on the surface.

What Happens to an Asphalt Pavement With Improper Subsurface Drainage?

Asphalt pavements must rest upon a stable, well-compacted, strong foundation. Typically, paving contractors compact the soil, then they install an aggregate base before installing the asphalt layers. Water can enter the foundation from above or below ground. It can carry particles from the soil with it.

An eroded foundation can allow voids to form beneath the pavement, the pavement sags over the voids, and potholes develop quickly. When water freezes in pavement spaces, it can crack the pavement due to pressure. As a result, depressions may occur in the pavement when the ice thaws, leading to more potholes.

How Do Asphalt Contractors Ensure Proper Drainage for a New Pavement?

When constructing a building, it’s important to start from the bottom up to ensure effective drainage. Contractors assess the soil at the building site to determine its clay content, natural drainage ability, and compaction potential.

If there are drainage problems, different techniques are used to fix them. These techniques include removing soil and replacing it, adding a thick layer of sand under the base, or putting drain tiles under the pavement. The methods used depend on the assessment of the problem.

Contractors also make sure to grade the site correctly and calculate the appropriate slope for the finished pavement to ensure proper drainage. Depending on the pavement, they may install features like trench drains, catch basins, or gutters to efficiently drain water away.

How Do Asphalt Contractors Address Surface Drainage Issues on Existing Pavements?

Contractors will begin by determining the cause of the drainage issue. Sometimes, the solution is as simple as clearing a clogged drainpipe. At other times, milling can solve some drainage problems on its own, but other situations may call for milling the pavement and installing an overlay.

Sunken catch basins can typically be repaired quickly and economically. There are many other options for correcting drainage problems, but contractors must evaluate a specific pavement to determine the best solution.


In the realm of parking lot design and maintenance, the importance of proper drainage cannot be emphasized enough. From preventing water accumulation and structural damage to enhancing safety and preserving aesthetics, the benefits of effective drainage systems are far-reaching.

By addressing drainage concerns early on and incorporating well-designed drainage solutions, you can ensure the longevity, safety, and functionality of your parking lot. Remember, a well-drained parking lot is not just an investment in property upkeep; it’s an investment in the satisfaction and safety of everyone who uses it.

Trust Royal Pavement Solutions for the Help You Need

At Royal Pavement Solutions, we offer an extensive range of asphalt services, including paving, milling, repairs, and preventive maintenance. We also provide site work and concrete services. Our goal on every project is to ensure the customer’s complete satisfaction by delivering exceptional results through our craftsmanship, work ethic, and professionalism. To request a free estimate, complete our online form, or you can reach us by phone at 844-777-7924.

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